Some people came out of lock-down with nothing to show but a deepened loathing for society, twitchy screen-eyes and some early symptoms of scurvy. Not me. I put my time to good use and, with the help of a slow masticating juicer, a smoothie making machine and having a long list of more pressing tasks I wanted to avoid, created a vegan milkshake to top all vegan milkshakes.
Introducing the Zenzoat Shake. It’s creamy, it’s thick, it’s sweet, it’s nutty, it’s vegan and it’s packed with nutrients that will probably help you live a long, healthy, happy life (probable, but not guaranteed). OK, there’s a chance someone before me might have combined these very simple ingredients in the same way to create the exact same milkshake…but let me have my moment.
The Zenzoat is perfect for those moments where what you really want is a whole tub of ice-cream, or a packet of Oreos. Although it’s healthy, it’s still fairly calorific – I estimate it at about 400 calories, so a good lunch’s worth. If you’re trying to put on weight but want to be healthy, this is probably a good way to do it. Otherwise, keep it as a treat every now and then, or as a post work-out protein shake.
How to make the Zenzoat Shake
- 2 medjool dates
- Oat milk (I use Oatly Barrista Edition, which is frothy and delicious)
- Crunchy peanut butter
- Assorted seeds (I used sunflower and pumpkin)
- A blender
- A juicer (or ready-pressed apple juice)
- Juice 1 apple (or pour very small amount of ready-pressed apple juice into your blender container)
- Pit dates and add them to blender
- Add dessert spoon of peanut butter
- Add sprinkle of seeds
- Add oat milk
- Blitz till frothy and smoothish
- Pour into some hipstery kind of receptacle like a mason jar or old vase
- Take moody, pretentious Instagram shot and hashtag #zenzoatshake
- Sip and sink into heavenly Zen-like state of contentment
The surprising thing about this shake is that it tastes like it should give you coronary heart disease, but the ingredients could actually do the opposite. For instance, numerous studies suggest that eating dates actively reduces your bad cholesterol and boosts your heart and brain health. These deliciously squishy natural sweets contain flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids – all of which are studied for their anti-cancerous and brain cell-protecting properties. They’re also high in fibre which can help if you, like me, suffer from IBS.
And it’s not all about the dates. Peanut butter is high in protein which as we know is needed for building strong muscles. It’s low in carbs and like dates, only causes a very low rise in blood sugar levels – staving off that ‘crash and burn’ feeling you tend to get with sugary treats like chocolate and biscuits. Peanut butter is also packed with other less exciting vitamins with letters after them that all serve a very important purpose in the body.
The apple adds a tangy juiciness to the shake to cut through the sweetness of the dates. It also contains antioxidants, vitamins, dietary fiber and a range of other nutrients to keep that famously pesky doctor away.
Oat milk is a delicious alternative to cow’s milk; although it’s worth noting it’s not as nutritious or calcium-rich as what comes out of a cow. Many brands have added vitamins though, and you can enjoy it knowing you haven’t contributed quite so significantly to the destruction of the environment.
Oxford University produced this nifty graph to show the environmental impact of various milk types, and you can see that oat does pretty well on all counts.
To conclude, the Zenzoat shake is a really tasty and healthy vegan shake to enjoy every now and then, maybe even as a breakfast, or a dessert. Let me know if you try it!